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Comment Re:Curtail 'free speech' by lying corporations? (Score 1) 488

Uhh, well, even the summary says that the law is in Israel. Our collective opinions about the political system in the US are...not relevant. We don't have that (kind of) jurisdiction.

I think this is an interesting idea, but I wonder how it will be enforced. Will it be government agents culling the Israeli version of Maxim saying, "Shopped! I can tell by the pixels."?

Comment Re:I'll believe it (Score 1) 500

I wrote a short story about this. I spent some time looking into the effect of flooding the market with gold (hey, it was my story, right?). Would mess everything up right quick. You could make a fortune on the short-sell kind of thing, but at what cost? Especially since gold is one of those "safe" investments.

Of course it was a story. I won't tell you how it ends, but now that I think about it, it might have been a better story if I had pursued those consequences instead of the ending I did go with. That really does sound interesting. Of course, I'm older how. Who knows?

Comment Re:California (Score 1) 398

The target audience is a lawyer.

I know California has this law, but in a more general sense, a lot of these warnings are based on litigation and the fear thereof.


I'm a technical writer. There is a long history of this kind of thing in the vast majority of technical documents that are provided to the end user. It's not looked upon kindly by a lot of technical writers and academics who teach technical writing. If you're looking for citations, you can check out "Writing and Technique" by David Dobrin. He dissects the "user manual" for his coffee grinder (IIRC), which includes such warnings as "Do not use outside." Now, we all know these rules are meaningless, day to day. You could use your coffee grinder outside for a decade with no ill effects, unless it was raining. Or a walnut fell from a tree into the grinder while it was running. Or some other wildly unlikely scenario. But the corporate lawyer needs to cover the company.

He argues that this isn't technical writing at all. I'd probably concur. And yet, here we are. These warnings are plastered everywhere and, yet, people ignore them. Or laugh at them and go through their life not killing themselves with their coffee grinders. And people wonder why the documentation is often useless and filled with such warnings.

A co-worker bought a chainsaw. The manual was entirely filled with warnings. Completely. Now a chainsaw isn't exactly a safe piece of equipment, and so some warnings, maybe even all of them, had a point. But there were no instructions on how to use the thing.

I don't want to blame the lawyer. I can't imagine they like being paranoid, they are just protecting the company.

Comment Re:The Atlantic (Score 1) 910

I wonder what the GP really meant.

Mr. Hitchens was a professional, which is why he was prolific. It's certainly not difficult to write at a high rate and quality when you've been doing it for decades. There are plenty of examples from sci-fi (Asimov) to popular (King) downright "literary" (Burgess) who were prolific and wrote really well (much of the time).

Also, well, he was a journalist. And journalists often have editors. These help. A lot.

Comment Re:We can't compete (Score 1) 598

That's the point... it's not just a factory here and there. Unless you've got a factory that can take beach sand and petroleum in one end and pump iPad's out the other, you need an entire community to work around your factory to keep things flowing. That community is pretty much gone.

Shh! I've also got a bunch of land in Florida I can use.

Comment Re:Cost of mailing DVDs (Score 1) 574

They overworked their stamp licking team and had to pay insurance costs for saliva gland transplant surgery.

Oh, you laugh. You wouldn't laugh if your tongue was as dry as the Sahara (pardon the cliche). You would _try_ to laugh, but all that would come out would be a puff of dust.

Comment Re:Reflexive /. Gates bashing in 3...2... (Score 1) 471

False dichotomy. Straw man. Whatever. Gates isn't just a Christian going to church and doing nothing, nor is he taking the idea of working tirelessly in the background for little change seriously. He's making the most change that he can and driving results. It might not be my business what Steve Jobs supports, but he's not being a good supporter if he isn't doing more (if he can being, admittedly, sick and all) to bring more awareness to his issues.

Bill Gates is performing charity and telling people what he's doing. If you have someone with the public face backing that up with cash, that's huge. Better him that who? Bono. What?

Maybe he changed. I mean, what is he gonna do next, realistically, besides give his fortune away? Run for president? What a waste for little return on investment.

Still not a fan of what he did to get where he is, but...

Comment Re:Not true. (Score 1) 176

I talk to the girl at subway a few days a week. I don't even know her name (no name-tag). I have little personal investment in her. I mean, sure, I hope she's doing well, but not any more than any other near stranger.

On IRC and other internet forums, there are a couple people I talk to regularly; mostly just...whatever. I don't touch base with each twitter follower every day. That would be...burdensome. Even if I only have 300 something. Who are mostly spam-bots.

Comment Re:Been here a while... (Score 1) 502

I do not like to get my philosophy from t-shirts. However, I did see one that said "Beware of stupid people in large groups." If you want a little more fanciful take on it, watch a zombie movie. The paranoia is infectious. Hang out with one of them for 10 minutes and listen to them seriously. Take their (largely invisible to them) presuppositions as true. You will be scared.

Of course I don't know enough tea-partiers to determine their average intelligence, but the ones I do know are loud, boorish, and ignorant of all the facts. They are just like the rest of humanity.

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